This week marked the 10th anniversary for the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. The Refuge was founded in 2001 with the construction of our Grizzly Bear habitat and the arrival of Grinder and Coola during the first week of September that year.
I've posted some of the early photos of Grinder and Coola after they first arrived at the refuge. They were so small! When they arrived both bears weighed 40 to 50 lbs. Today they are between 750 to 900 lbs! That's quite an increase.
The Refuge has expanded and grown a lot since those early days of two young grizzly bear cubs. The next year Cari and Boo arrived and spent the winter before moving on to the Kicking Horse Grizzly Refuge. The year after that our pack of Timber Wolves arrived at the mountain.
The Refuge soon became a member of the Spotted Owl Recovery program and housed a rehabilited Spotted Owl for several years and in 2006 we joined the North American Hummingbird Monitoring Network.
Yet through all of the years, the Grizzly Bear habitat has remained the focal point of the refuge. Millions of guests have had the opportunity to watch Grinder and Coola in their natural five acre habitat. Hundreds of thousands of school children have attended our formal Grizzly Bear curriculums and come away with a greater understanding and respect for bears and wildlife in general.
These are exciting times for the Refuge and the next 10 years hold a lot of promise as we expand our programs and work to deliver world class interpretive programs for our visitors.
A big thank-you to all of our supporters and admirers of Grinder and Coola over the years. Your appreciation for the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife means a lot to us!